La Belle Haleine

What do Chanel No. 5 and the history of art have in common? Can a bottle of perfume be considered a sculpture? Is the most expensive Eau de Voilette in the world a play on words? A bizarre journey through the paradoxes of the art of perfume and perfumes of art. 

Marco Senaldi

How can a perfume become a work of art? How can something invisible like an aroma become the subject of an object made for the eyes? The archetype is with all likelihood Chanel No. 5, wrongly considered a “classic”, when in fact it was a revolutionary artifact, born not by chance during the “roaring twenties” (1921) from the creativity of Coco Chanel, a friend of artists like Picasso, Claudel and Stravinsky, which only later became a must have, an indispensable point of reference even for those who have never bought or worn it.

It’s no coincidence that during the 80s, a decade in which certain fashions that had originated during the mythical Jazz Age were taken up and revisited, the Chanel image made a huge comeback: the high priest of this consumer neo-iconophilia, Andy Warhol, followed the suggestion of the Feldman Fine Arts gallery to create a series of prints dedicated to modern myths, and he didn’t forget to include No. 5.

The sober, rational bottle in Deco style, in its Warhol version, takes on a new dimension: made transparent and almost evanescent, a pure profile standing out in unreal, almost television colors (Warhol claimed that the idea of saturated color screen prints came to him while watching static television), the series of Warhol prints sublimates the object beyond its meaning as a consumption product: a spectral image of itself, the enormous Chanel incarnates a myth always beyond our ability to consume it, eternally desirable and eternally indestructible, a sort of – to paraphrase Oscar Wilde – “icon without enigma”.

By a twist of fate, or rather history, more or less in the same years, a surviving proponent of the historic avant-guarde, Salvador Dalì (who among other things, with his theatrical gestures and eccentric muses like Amanda Lear, was the secret master of Warhol’s extravagant style) also designed his own personal perfume.

Since then, Dalì Perfume, established in 1983, contained in a bottle shaped like stylized lips with a nose stopper, as if it were a fragment of an ancient statue, also became a classic in its own right. This perfume is proposed as a small collectible: the container is almost a sculpture, and the mark of the Catalonian genius is absolutely unmistakable. The full red lips are a citation of a citation: they can’t but recall the famous lips-shaped couch of the 1930s – in its turn inspired by the lips of Mae West, the famous American pin-up model and actress. But the whole ensemble creates a typical double image à la Dalì: its silhouette carries the gaze behind the negative image of the face to which mouth and nose should belong, with an extraordinary hypnotic effect.

But the fascination of artists with the world of perfume, for the allusions it reveals, for the forms with which such an impalpable thing wraps itself concretely, can be traced almost to the same years in which Coco was creating No. 5 as a work of art. Famous, for example, is the assisted ready-made Eau de Voilette, signed, again in 1921, by Marcel Duchamp, who in order to make it used an authentic Rigaud perfume bottle, remaking the label and then inserting it into a purple velvet case.
On the label can be made out the face of Duchamp, in a portrait by Man Ray, showing him as his feminine alter ego Rrose Sélavy (the label features the initials “R.S.”).
Even the title itself is a head-scratcher: in lieu of Eau de Toilette, as one would expect, it is an Eau which isn’t even “de Violette”, as one might expect in reference to the essential oil – but “de Voilette”, as if it were a typo (this is all an obscure reference to the poem by Rimbaud Les Voyelles, in which the “O” is from the “viola”).

Even more obscure is the meaning of the play on words beneath the image of Duchamp: Belle Haleine, which recalls “Belle Héléne”, but with a significant alteration: “de longue haleine” in French means “of long breath” but for Duchamp, who was passionate about impalpable things, which he defined as “infrathin” (“inframince”), the air, breath, smoke, perfume, etc., etc., these were artistic dimensions as undervalued as they were essential, to the point that, to one interviewer who asked him what he did for a living, he responded: “I’m a breather, isn’t that enough?”.

Maybe thanks to these (typically Duchampian) streaks of genius, maybe because only one exemplar of these modified readymades has survived – the fact is that Eau de Voilette has become the most expensive perfume of all time: and we believe, if it’s true that this last copy (which once belonged to Yves Saint-Laurent) has been auctioned at Christie’s for the “small sum” of 8.9 million euro.

Such a fascinating story could not leave indifferent younger generations of artists. Italy’s own Francesco Vezzoli has been seduced by Duchamp (or maybe by Rrose Sélavy?). Ninety years later, in 2009, Vezzoli decided to re-propose an art-perfume inspired by Duchamp’s Eau, but to call it (in a highly postmodern concession) Greed.

In practice, the bottle is still the same one as Duchamp’s, but in place of Rrose appears Francesco/a, himself also vaguely effeminate. The remarkable thing, however, is that Vezzoli has commissioned a video spot as if for the launch of a real perfume, or even better: the short is signed by none other than Roman Polanski, who directs Nathalie Portman and Michelle Williams. How to say: what counts now, everybody knows, is no longer the perfume itself, but the perfume’s “scent”, its disembodied media experience, cloaked with the unmistakable aroma of glamour given off by glories both old and new like the Hollywood they originate from. To sum up, the next step to the Warholian glorification of merchandise: the glorification of the imaginary.

Does the story end here? Not by a long shot. To make a contemporary artist, some say, means to move the peg of the impossible always one notch higher up. One would be tempted to say that that is what another Italian artist, Luca Vitone, managed to do at Venice’s 2013 Biennale.

Invited to the Italy Pavilion, he opted for an extreme choice: to bring a work of art “that’s not there”. In dialog (this is the curatorial concept) with the photography of the great Luigi Ghirri, Vitone thought to play his part without descending to the plane of the visible, but rather the olfactory. Thus, he installed in the space an odor, which “at first you like, then becomes unpleasant, then sticks in your throat, then makes you want to swallow” as he explained himself. An odor that recalls another, this time anything but glamour: the odor of eternit. Thus, although impalpable, Vitone’s work speaks to one of the most tragic events in recent history, and in order to achieve this effect, the artist had to turn to the “nose” Maria Candida Gentile, showing that even a perfume can inspire thoughts and carry the mind far, far away…


Monocle: the scent of news

Launched in 2007, Monocle is an exclusive English magazine that covers topics ranging from international business and economics to culture and design. Monocle online has in short time become a valuable source of news and updates for the global market. What’s more, in order to guide it’s reader’s tastes and keep “an eye and an ear on the world”, Monocle has also opened a radio station and a store, with a selection of truly unique products.

Products such as the line of perfumes Scents 1, 2 and 3, produced exclusively by the perfume maker of Commes des Garçons, Antoine Maisondieu. The fragrances are inspired by unique and special atmospheres.
Scent number 1, for example, called Hinoki, recalls a still spring morning spent soaking in the baths of Kyoto’s famous Tawaraya Ryokan; the second, Laurel, on the other hand, is meant to capture memories of a sojourn in the ancient city of Batroun in Lebanon, the aroma of an ancient Mediterranean garden punctuated by the warm and strong essence of the laurel leaf.
Sugi (Japanese cedar) is the third fragrance, with a delicate, clean and energizing aroma, a blended scent that combines ingredients like the Mediterranean cypress, the pepper tree of Madagascar, the Florentine iris, the Virginia cedar and the vetiver of Haiti.
The packaging recalls the magazine’s elegant style, retro and contemporary at the same time. A few typographic marks, minimalist etchings on white, black or cream background, reminiscent of the unmistakable style of Fornasetti. Lacking any ostentatious decoration, understatement is preserved in the most typical English fashion. One would be hard pressed to do better for a perfume released by a periodical.
But that’s another story.


Remember tomorrow is already here

Beauty, contents and containers: an interactive map for reading the contemporary world.

Packaging. A mixed blessing. Fatal attraction- you either love it or you hate it – that indissolubly forever binds us to goods.

In an evermore versatile and impelling way, packaging today constitutes the link between society and the world of industry, it is a bridge that connects territories that appear distant and yet that constantly interrelate.
As far as beauty is concerned, for over 45 years cosmetics and high-end Italian products have found a befitting setting in the Cosmoprof fair, place in which the atmosphere and the spirit of the times can be grasped close to; cosmetic packaging (along with food packaging) is in fact an absolute indicator of the changes in our lifestyles, intercepting the way trends are evolving, interpretation of the most advanced biotechnological studies.
By now you cannot separate a scent or a cream from the image that its packaging communicates – whether this belongs to a mass or a niche market, both if one is dealing with a new cosmoceutical finding or a biodynamic treatment. It is through the ways of interpretation offered by packaging that “pleasure goods” are able to appear more emblematic and intriguing. The task of the packaging hence is to adequately interpret the story that lies behind the development of a new cosmetic product, it being the duty of Cosmoprof to show it off at its best.

In other terms, one can say that it is indeed packaging that defines our daily experience, acting as a fact-finding interface, mass-medium through which we not only gain information but with which we form our taste, express our judgement, build our image. It is not by chance that it is considered an important worktool and motive of interest for many specialists, but that has also become an incredible field in which to experiment for artists and designers, directors, philosophers, intellectuals, writers and poets. Packaging marks out the folklore of post-industrial man and woman and to all effects has become a form of popular culture. You can no longer escape it.

As demonstrated by the magazine Impackt, that from 2002 to 2009 gathered and highlighted the reasons for so much attention, pinpointing the surprising connections between packaging and the liquid society in which we move; but also by uncovering and recounting exemplary as well as peculiar cases.
Well beyond the materic nature of the products and the physical nature of the product process, for Impackt packaging has always been a sign to be interpreted, a phenomenon to be investigated, an expressive means to be shared. Through packaging in turn Impackt has been able to grasp and transmit the most interesting aspects of our contemporary way of life and, to make the same accessible, it has become an alternative tool and way of interpretation.
Today, exploiting the opportunities made available by technology, Impackt again comes to life in the images of this interactive Map achieved along with Cosmoprof/Cosmopack, in a play of references between paper and the web that underlines the importance of a concept and of creativity, capable of going beyond the set pattern of things.
Framing the QR code on the image of the Map with smartphone, you enter into the world of Impackt, as ever a valid “tourist guide” conceived to cross the real and mental panoramas of the world of packaging.
Because if you aren’t born “”Impacktian“”, you still have the chance of becoming one.

Sonia Pedrazzini and Marco Senaldi

icona_pdf  Download pdf of the Map

No making up no deception

Makeup almost never lie, though they always deceive

The word ” makeup” conceals an inauspicious and misleading significance. It conjures up a superficial process, an outward transformation, leading us to believe that there is another truth, a reality, hidden underneath what is applied like a mask to veil the imperfections of reality and to enhance the appearance of the wearer by falsifying it. Due to this masquerade, which I hold to be a sort of universal legacy, our attitude toward makeup has remained deeply ambivalent. On the one hand, we are left pleasantly surprised and charmed, while at the same time, we view it as a camouflage that hides the true Self of the wearer from the eyes of onlookers, a sign of weakness conveyed through an inappropriate show of strength.
In reality, things aren’t quite so simple. It doesn’t take much to figure out that this true Self under the mask of makeup is itself a charade and a disguise (a little bit like the “natural and genuine” fruits and vegetables grown with biological farming methods, as opposed to the “imitation and artificial” fruits and vegetables grown using pesticide ” makeup ” and chemical preservatives. Of course, in truth, we recognise that so-called “biological farming methods” are equally based on a series of techniques and procedures that yield a product suitable for large scale distribution; use of the term “genuine” here is questionable, even more so after a spate of scandals shed light on the spuriousness of some producers brandishing the biological label). Who or what exactly is this true Self of the wearer? Freud holds that we can reach a definition of ourselves (in response to the query, “who am I?”) only after a series of successive identifications. This means that in order to know who we are, we have to look back on a photo gallery of all the people we have ever met, loved, loathed, desired, or envied from our early childhood to the present. Clearly, such a gallery would also include fantasy personages: Hollywood actors, pop stars, television heartthrobs, and others we have identified with over the years. So, we are simply a summation of a series of images deep inside ourselves. We are a very personal and original end product, in the same way that we are a fusion of different spiritual beings. It is simply preposterous to ask who or which is the real one.
If this is really how it stands, then what purpose do makeup serve? What end do we achieve by making ourselves up? The answer is simple: for a certain period of time, we decide to bring to life one of the many “spiritual selves” that comprise our identity; we animate it to have it perform a specific function, which may be to elicit admiration and desire (which is true in our western societies) or denote an aggressive or a threatening intention, as was the practice in traditional societies.
As soon as the seductive purpose or the threatening objective loses importance, the personality drawn out can return to its place among the others, without it remaining dominant over the personas.
So, then, makeup almost never lies, although it always deceives.
It doesn’t lie because it always reflects a true aspect of the wearer; it always deceives because it incarnates a single aspect, allowing it to prevail over all the others and giving the false impression that this is the only one.
The warrior is not only a warrior: he is also a farmer, father or other figure; a woman is not only a femme fatale; she may also be a mother, housewife, or companion.
Nevertheless, it is still not sufficient to explain what it really means to apply makeup and, in particular, if this process is still possible today. If it’s true that makeup is not a simple falsification to disguise the truth, but always and only represent one of the personalities of the person using them, then we must remember that in order for this process to have any sense, it must be socially defined. makeup is an unparalleled way to represent the symbolic order of belonging: there is nothing less easily exported and nothing more characterising.
And in fact, unlike works of art, maquillage cannot feed simply off the creative energy of the wearer; it must draw its source of principal inspiration from a series of well-defined experiences. We apply makeup by following a definite model and the success of the action is measured on the basis of the social efficiency that it achieves. Applying makeup is a symbolic and real practice. All this is much more understandable when we reflect on how easy it is for anybody to notice the showiness of excessive makeup, as if each one of us possessed a specific and absolutely iron-clad set of aesthetic rules.
In the case of makeup, like no other product, does the old adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” become “beauty is what meets precise social needs.” Its seductive power depends on the culture where it is used. The makeup used by women in the more primitive societies charm the members of their groups, and yet are viewed as grotesque in ours. The experience is rarely exported with success. The femme fatale and the warrior are models produced by a cultural system that guides the wearer in applying makeup. But what happens when these models cease to exist? When the social system no longer provides points of reference that are not obverse (which don’t represent anything but the gaze of the wearer)? The result is that makeup becomes impossible to use because there is no set reference system; we are left without expressive means, we don’t know what feelings to stir up nor who to refer to.
Another result is that we switch from makeup to non-makeup, from communicating seduction to the seduction of non-communication. The distinction of the gender is lost and the face of the wearer is not left empty or without paint and powder, but allows itself to be covered by mysterious signs whose mystery lies in the fact that theirs is a language without classification, a series of senseless images, like Pollock’s famous dripping paintings: the art work is still there, but it is a non-painting, where only the gesture remains – as if incomprehensible ideograms were written for the pure delight of leaving a sign on the paper.

Antonio Piotti, psychologist, has published (with M. Senaldi) Lo Spirito e gli Ultracorpi, Franco Angeli 1999 and Maccarone m’hai Provocato, Bulzoni, 2002.

Pack is (not) Dead

From the vacuum packed armchair to the “supercandy”, packaging as a container of goods is dead. Its place has now been taken up by an invisible, but at the same time even more present emotional interface.

Maria Gallo

The leading lights of the mythical images pertaining to commerce, colored, sensual and attractive packaging, that convert the shelves of the supermarkets into psychedelic Wunderkammer, have for some years now been undergoing a slow but radical change. A process that probably already began in the eighties when, while all the same in some sectors such as perfumery but not only that, the imperative was to “amaze”, some packaging already launched timid signs of change. That was just before the launch of the provocative female busts with girdles of the perfumes of Jean Paul Gaultier. At the same time Oréal launched its new line for the young of its hair products Studio Line, with containers clear-cut and simple in their shape, with colored minimalist graphics that stand as clear quotations of Mondrian’s primary squares.

Certainly still too little to start talking about the beginning of the end, but a precise indication as to the way to be taken: packaging, that up to then had been a purely functional container for merchandise, at the most decked with appealing graphics so as to be eye-catching, was on the point of changing into a sort of crystal ball where the consumer was not shown the real world (which we have before our eyes) but the fantastic universe of the paradisian sensations of merchandise. A sort of tongue-twister of images in which one could lose oneself, at least up until their metamorphosis into waste.
Every product has followed its own way, but for many of them the death of the wrapping was an obligatory stage in the process of transformation.
Some emblematic examples are the Comme des Garçons perfume bottles: oval in clear glass, set down like rocks, closed by small anonymous black tops; the flacons were hermetically sealed in transparent vacuum bags.
Today some five years on, the same bottle is covered in a candid white crotchet vestment bearing a set of wings. The “stone” and its new dressing are once again throttled by a vacuum pack.

Apparent anonymity also for the pack for the Body Shop, Lush or Shu Uemura products, that for some years now have been selling their soaps, creams, eye shadows and powers in transparent cases, in standard flacons and jars or even by the kilo or that is loose, as was the case forty years ago for pasta and sugar.
Evidently, for some companies, the value of the brand and the world built around it has become more important than the single product. Thus the packaging protagonist has been converted into a packaging-tool by way of which the consumer accesses the world or brands. This means that the era of access described by Jeremy Rifkin as the great revolution by which, in the new economy, more than possessing an item of goods, it will be evermore important to get to a service (be this a subscription to an Internet provider or a car to be used three days a week) could already be said to have begun, only we haven’t noticed it yet.
Already in 1985 Vodka Absolut launched an operation that, from then on has involved hundreds of artists and designers from all around the world in order to reinvent to infinity their anonymous bottle. In this way a sort of artistic network has been set up where the consumer not only takes part by visiting itinerant exhibitions, but also by buying the vodka. Even so today, this emblematic product, is launching new signs. In the latest advertising in fact the bottle is present in all its “normality”, offering an almost aseptic showing of its sham functionality: some captions, with relative arrows, explain to the consumer the meaning of each writing, symbol or image present on the bottle. Quotation or an about-turn in trends? It is too early to say.

What is more “the aseptic” is one of the categories that is most exploited in the packaging marching towards transformation. A category with scenic presence strong enough even to inspire the creation of true and proper commercial empires.
Non brands such as Muji, the Japanese shopping chain that sells a bit of everything, from beer to chairs to clothing, created in 1980 with the slogan “lots of ways of taking your fancy”, imposes the overall minimalism of the merchandise as the only rule of being “part of the family”, this naturally also including the packaging. Set up in Japan, today Muji has many sales outlets in London and Paris.
The Ikea brand can be considered as one of the archetypes of the minimal pack, what is more applied to a field, that of furnishing, that has always had a troublesome relationship with packaging, in general for good reason; objectively though its minimalism has never ever turned into seduction.
Against this there is a piece of furnishing history, the UP5 armchair designed in 1969 by Gaetano Pesce for B&B, the primary packaging of which, a PVC film within which the armchair was sealed and vacuum compressed like a slice of processed cheese, played a leading role in the overall product. Once you opened the PVC bag, the air returned slowly to the cells of the foam and the armchair once more took shape.

Minimalism, the reduction of shape and material, the skilful use of technological features, for example vacuum technology, in the end become metaphors for the skin of the product that can be shown direct to the customer overcoming the medium of the packaging as occurred in the past.
The same result can even be attained by going in the reverse direction, as Nestlé did with their Polos and with mini Smarties. Here it can in fact be shown how packaging can also die due to an excessive presence, by the will to inform on a gigantic level. We have an example in the tale The purloined letter by Edgar Allan Poe, in which the Queen’s letter is “hidden” by placing it where it can be seen most (the embarrassing document is “hidden” by simply putting it there where it can be seen, amidst other innocent missives). In the same way the gigantic Polo in white polypropylene, that contains the actual small sweets, disappears to our eyes as packaging and becomes a precious and seductive testimonial of the product philosophy. It is hard to find someone who has had the courage to throw away this little/great piece of everyday pop art.

But if the merchandise burst in like bodies on the commercial scene, it goes without saying that they will also end up as coming under the tough law of life and death.
However there is someone who has seriously decided to play with death, finally breaking down one of the greatest taboos in merchandising. We are speaking of the “adbuster group”, the subversives of global trade that for some years now, every year organise a “no-buy day” as a sign of protest against prevailing consumerism. The unwilling tool of one of their shock campaigns has been the camel that for many years now, has promoted Camel cigarettes. In its honour an alter ego has been created, that in truth, is not in the best of health, called Joe Chemo, that has in fact become one of the leading lights of the anti advertising campaign invented by adbuster. As the name suggests, the poster contains a comic strip with a camel with flebos inserted in its body as it wanders around, with its eyes half-shut, along the hospital corridors: the image suggests that, after having smoked so much, Joe Chemo is now dangerously ill and is about to end his days. It is clear that the death of the camel would immediately mark the death of one of the most famous packaging items in the world. In October of the year 2000 on the adbuster’s Internet sight bore the request for contributions be able to purchase a large space in order to be able to display Joe Chemo. But already then the cigarette producers had unleashed their legal campaign. To this date we do not know whether the market of the force of the image has won.
All the same death is a prelude to the advent of something new, perhaps unexpected, but not for this necessarily horrendous. So, rather than viciously attacking those that have chosen to give voice to a cardboard camel, the companies might do well to deal with the cultural mutations if, also in the future, they wish that their cans continue to be part of our everyday fantasies.

The Cognition of Taste

Luigi Veronelli*: “The pleasure of the table is an ever different, ever changing reality”

Marco Senaldi

Listening to Luigi Veronelli is already an experience in itself. His unmistakable style changes simple gastronomic fact into narration; with his skilful telling, wine becomes poetry, a dish literature. An enodissident, gastrorebel, an anarchist by lyrical and political vocation, Veronelli is not only the best-known of our gastronomic experts internationally, he is undoubtedly the most cultured, the most committed and thankfully the least academic.
We talked freely with him on the subjects he loves best: from defending the quality of oil to the proposal for the Communal Denomination (De,Co.), to the importance of packaging as a vehicle of information. This year Veronelli will turn 78: but he certainly hasn’t slowed down his tireless activity of agitator on the subjects of the day, like defending quality, care for the earth, his refusal of food homologation, assets that are no less important than our artistic and environmental ones.

Luigi, where were you in February?
At Monopoli in Puglia, we demonstrated against the trade of hazelnut oil produced abroad and sold off in Italy, that the multinationals then turn into extra virgin olive oil. It was really wonderful, there were hundreds of people there and, I have to say, the thing that most surprised me was that the police on duty were solidly behind us. It should be said that 80% of the olive oil market is in the hands of the multinationals; in what is a straight legalised fraud – the tankers “convert” their load of seed oil into extra virgin olive oil on their way to Italy. No miracle there, all you have to do is forge the papers. The consumers and the olive farmers are the ones to suffer the consequences. The trade of these oils seriously harms Italy’s heritage; you should know that in Italy we have something like 400-500 cultivar (the variety of olive is called cultivar) against the tens or so of varieties in Spain and Portugal; it is a great wealth that risks being lost if it is not adequately protected. Thus we have created the project Oil according to Veronelli; in order to do what was done with wine, that is identify the characteristics oil by oil, that should be tied to the areas from where the olives originate.

You have also created a special strip for the bottles…
Certainly, for product traceability. The label must bear all the important information to show history and quality, production lot, progressive bottle numbering and the month the bottling took place. Logically these oils may cost a lot more than the oils one finds in the supermarkets, but one has to think of the commitment and the toil that the olive farmers that choose this path have to face in their striving to create a unique food item each being different in terms of taste and characteristics.

Very often though food labels may be incomplete or unclear…
And it is for this reason that we though take them so seriously. You know a good consumer must by now be critical, they have to become good readers. They have to be people who have developed, let’s say it, that famous critical awareness, they have to first and foremost watch out for what they themselves consume, and they have to be able to read the information borne on the pack…

…hence packaging has its importance.
It is highly important; but not only the pack, also the forms in which the food and the wines are tasted. Think of the importance that glasses can have in the gesture of wine tasting! This is a thing that has always been close to my heart, I have even designed special wine glasses along with various designers – Castiglioni, Silvio Coppola, Giacomo Bersanetti, and yet others – to enhance the very tasting. A wine produced according to given criteria needs its right glass; if the glass has been conceived correctly, all the sensations that the wine can give can be better perceived. Those that do not know wine limit themselves to pouring it out and drinking it; I say though first one should look at it, admire it, allow oneself to be conquered by its perfume, its aroma, and then, as a last thing, taste it. It is a complex itinerary, but this is what the pleasures of the table and the pleasures of drinking consist of.

This must be why today there exists the fashion of pourings wine into the socalled decanter?
On this point I have to tell you that the decanter is not of much use, even if it is among the trappings of the connoisseur … in actual fact it is an object reserved for very few special wines; I can say that from among the hundred wines in my cellar [that includes around 70,000 bottles, E.n.!] only one needs to be poured into the decanter; also because it is a delicate operation, one risks “breaking” the wine, “casser” as the French say, to disarticulate the bouquet, the complex whole of the organoleptic qualities…But I can say that I am designing a decanter that overcomes the problem…

So one can say that the containers also have their importance, they affect the content.
Yes without a doubt; a nice glass brings out the quality of the wine.
Or a fine label… not everyone knows that there are labels that have been designed by great artists such as Echaurren or Salvo; Sandro Chia, a protagonist of the Transavantegarde, has even gone over to producing Brunello di Montalcino, for which he also designs the labels…
… and it is also a good Brunello. I have also spoken to him of it; and to think that the best vintages are in the years when he is there, when he takes part in the production. This allows you to understand the delicacy of a production like this. Also turning wine into an art experience.

But what is pleasure according to you?
There is not one sole pleasure at the dining table, pleasure is an ever different, ever changing reality, it is the summing up of pleasures, even complex ones. Pleasure, thank heavens, is in continuous evolution. If you consider wine, fifty years ago very few producers were able to make good wine; today we are facing a highly complex reality, there are excellent winemakers, high ranking wine concerns, studies on the vine, on bottling and conservation techniques… there are my young pupils, sixteen year old kids, that have an excellent capacity of judgement and taste, that have now surpassed me! Money does not in itself mean quality, money is not the thing that prevails in gastronomy, what prevails is choice; a potato chosen, cultivated in its area, even if you taste it without any dressing can be something exceptional. The important thing is to watch out, be bright, follow the evolutions of the products, be able to choose independently. The project we are supporting for the Communal Denomination has this meaning: it is a concrete way of fighting fraud and protecting and promoting local produce. As well as that the label should also bear the price at source to avoid speculation; it is one thing that wines rightly have different prices, another that exorbitant of unjustified prices are charged. This too is a tool for going back to the recognition of the common thing, from the air, to water, to food, up to the production of material goods and the resulting networks.

* Luigi Veronelli (Milano, 2 febbraio 1926 – Bergamo, 29 novembre 2004)